It’s not what you do that makes you tired
It’s what you don’t do
When you know you ought to
That makes you tired
Hello, My Friends
What do you do to get yourself out of a funk?
Do you have a routine you follow when life has knocked the wind out of your sails?
This week I have found life doing what life does best, it keeps on trucking on, no matter how I’m feeling about what is happening in my life. Time keeps on skipping past, oblivious to any thing I think might be worthy of a break in time.
Last week I shared a little about having an anti-procrastination day. It is amazing how the jobs that get put off as, too hard, too messy, too time-consuming easily get packed into an invisible basket called “Later”. An shoved some where out of sight. The thing is out of sight is not out of mind, our mind never actually forgets, and the thought pops in now and again to nag at us.
If you were to watch someone who doesn’t have the procrastination gene. (Is anyone ever immune, or do they know of strategies that others don’t?) Do they roll up their sleeves and get it done? Do they put it on their calendar, they plan for it and then follow through, with focused action?.
My question is, “How do they speak to themselves, to ensure the job is done?”
What do they tell themselves to get past the excuses? “I don’t feel like it.” “I can’t be bothered.” “I’m too tired.” “I’ll start that next week.”
What is procrastination? It’s putting off till later what you could be doing now. It’s lacking self control and acting against your better judgment.
That’s the thing, we all know what we need to do. To achieve our goals we have an idea of what needs to be done, however, the bogey man fear struts into the arena and wipes us out before we even get started. We feel the emotion of fear in our bodies, which creates the fight, flight or freeze response in our brain. The brains main function is survival, so it warns us not to proceed. Even when there is no logical reason not to move forward, we listen and stop. The stage is set for procrastination, and his cousins, guilt and shame to take over the drama of our lives.
Today, I want to give you a few strategies on how to take back the centre stage of your life, and live into the life you have always wanted.
It’s simple really, ‘DO IT NOW!’
Simple, but not easy.
As you learn to be the hero, or heroine of your life, and take back your control, from the bogey man, you will find you get so much more achieved, and your sense of satisfaction, and confidence grows.
What triggers your procrastination?
Creative pursuits, such as writing, painting, acting. Things that you may be waiting for inspiration to strike you.
Moving into new ventures, changing jobs, creating side hustles to supplement your income, Things that require you to move into unchartered waters, so to speak.
Dieting or beginning a new exercise plan. Things that require diligently repeated activity.
Courses or training, learning new skills. Once again foreign territory, the unfamiliar land of the new and different.
Spiritual, Ethical or moral behavioural changes, things that you know are good for you, but will take consistently pulling on the steering wheel of your life, to create tension to change your unwanted behaviour from the ruts that are comfortable.
All of these stoppers are mental resistance. We build a story around how hard it will be to make the changes that are required, learn new skills, stick to a programme. This resistance causes us to find distraction in the easy things of the moment, like social media, movie watching. We even tell ourselves that cleaning out the fridge is a good thing, instead of writing the next chapter of our best seller.
Instant gratification is the thief of our long term life benefits.
We can learn to use resistance for us. Each one of us has our own preferred flavour of resistance. It is in understanding our resistance that we can disarm procrastination.
Resistance is our friend, it is trying to tell us something about ourselves. The greater the resistance, the greater the potential for change. The more important the call or action required is, the more resistance we have to doing that action. By identifying what your resistance is, and what is on the other side of the action you are resisting, this is where you will find achievement and fulfillment.
Resistance is a guide, use it to shine a light on the bold action that needs to be taken.
Mental resistance is with us at every step on our journey to living the life we want. Make friends with it, welcome it and use it for our good. By becoming aware of our flavour of mental resistance, we disarm procrastination.
Daily routines are the secret key to overcoming mental resistance and procrastination.
It is amazing how often inspiration turns up at the appointed time in your planner, it’s like it has been sent a special invitation. Energy arrives for the activity once you begin. Enjoyment flows from doing the difficult.
When we rationalize (tell rational lies) to ourselves, we open the door to self-sabotage. A rational lie is I’ll do that tomorrow, knowing we actually probably won’t. We don’t tell ourselves the truth. If we really don’t want to go to the gym, then cancel your membership and be honest with yourself. If you really do want to go, then schedule it, make it an unbreakable commitment to yourself and go.
How often do you use the words, “I’ll do that tomorrow.” ?
These four words will keep you stuck in procrastination.
Do it today. Make a plan, then do the plan. Never put off until tomorrow what can be done today.
Take out your timer, see how long it really takes to write a page, to fold a load of washing, to do the dinner dishes, to practice the piano, or to work out. This little trick beats the time procrastinator, “I don’t have time now.” You’ll surprised how much you can get done in fifteen minutes.
It’s not what we do that makes us tired,
But what we don’t do,
That we know we ought to do,
That makes us tired.
Doing the work is what produces results. You don’t have to feel good to do the work, but doing the work will almost always make you feel good.
To overcome procrastination:
Show up, follow your schedule. Whether you feel like it or not.
Be patient, building the future you want will take time. Be consistent, be diligent, be focused.
Act in the face of fear, fear is an illusion and action will take you through the illusion. Everything you want is on the other side of fear.
Failure and criticism are not personal, do not take them to heart, they are part of the learning journey, and have nothing to do with your self-esteem, or your identity.
Resistance is your guide to what is important, be aware of what you are resisting.
So in a nut shell, these five things are part of my arsenal to overcome procrastination.
Until next time, plan your work, and work your plan. Beat procrastination with the rod of constructive action that leads to your goal.
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